Delhi High Court Upholds Family Court’s Maintenance Order

Family Court Maintenance Order

Appeal and Delay Condonation

On May 9, 2024, the High Court of Delhi delivered a judgment regarding an appeal filed by a husband against an order of the Family Court, Central Tis Hazari Court, New Delhi. The appeal was initially delayed by six days, but the High Court condoned this delay, allowing the appeal to proceed. The appellant sought interim relief and challenged the maintenance order issued by the Family Court under Section 24 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 (HMA).

Background and Financial Overview

The couple married on July 9, 2011, and separated in November 2019. They have a son born on May 11, 2012, who currently studies in Class 4 at J.D. Tytler School, Delhi. The husband works as a Senior Manager at Tata Consultancy Services in Mumbai, earning a monthly income of Rs. 1,29,000 after tax deductions. His bank statements showed regular credits ranging between Rs. 1,00,000 to Rs. 2,05,000, with a maximum balance of Rs. 14,30,028 as of April 2022. His income tax returns for the assessment years 2020-21 and 2022-23 revealed gross incomes of Rs. 3,30,242 and Rs. 22,79,530, respectively.

In contrast, the wife, a homemaker with a Bachelor of Science degree, was initially living with her parents before moving to a rented accommodation. Her bank statement showed a maximum balance of Rs. 2,80,104.73.

Court’s Decision on Maintenance

The Family Court had ordered the husband to pay Rs. 25,000 monthly as maintenance for the wife and Rs. 15,000 for the child. The husband’s counsel argued that given the wife’s educational qualifications, she should not be granted maintenance. However, the High Court upheld the Family Court’s decision, stating that the maintenance awarded to the wife was necessary for her day-to-day expenses. The Court noted that the wife was bearing additional costs for private tuition and other child-related expenses.

The husband’s contention that the wife did not present the original rent agreement was dismissed. The Court found no evidence suggesting a request for the original agreement was made and denied. Additionally, the Court emphasized that the Indian Evidence Act’s strict provisions were not applicable in this context and noted the rent agreement’s credibility as it was executed over a year before the Family Court’s order.

In conclusion, the High Court dismissed the husband’s appeal, maintaining the maintenance amounts decided by the Family Court. The judgment emphasized the necessity of financial support for the wife to manage her expenses and provide for the child’s upbringing.

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